For weeks now, we generally have been working under the assumption that the NFL had gone unaffected by the coronavirus, at least in the sense that no players had become infected, as had been the case in the NBA. After all, there was nothing going on in the NFL at the time, so it would be easy to believe.
But it was reported yesterday that a member of the Los Angeles Rams, center Brian Allen, tested positive for Covid-19 weeks ago. Head coach Sean McVay told Jay Glazer that the team shut down its facilities as soon as he tested positive to reduce the risk of spreading it to anybody.
This all happened weeks ago, and we’re only hearing of it now, so one does have to wonder if there are other cases among players that have gone on unreported. This isn’t even an incident where just a random player randomly was infected. Team facilities were still open at this time, and it’s possible that Allen had been at the facility.
The team was well aware that he tested positive, but it didn’t make any kind of news until weeks later. One wonders how it came about. Did Allen go to Glazer, which then prompted the team’s cooperation with the story? Would we have heard about it otherwise?
Either way, it just goes to show just how important it is, and was, that the league took the steps that it did. Just imagine a player like Allen, perhaps even somebody who was asymptomatic, is working at the team facility. How many people might he come in contact with in just one day? And how many of those people might be affected, either directly or indirectly?
Other than Allen, no other players have been known to have been infected to date. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been the most prominent individual in the league to have contracted the virus. We also know that the chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals tested positive, in terms of personnel who would be in direct contact with teams and their players.
The good news, at least for Allen, is that it appears he is over it already and is feeling like himself. He said that he began noticing symptoms when he had no sense of smell, even going so far as to try smelling salts, to no avail. He had not taste, either, just a general sense of texture in his mouth.
At the worst of times, it can be difficult to imagine that we could be playing sporting events in front of crowds by September. And potentially the reality may ultimately match those fears. One can only hope that won’t be the case. And the best thing we can do right now toward that end…is to stay at home and read nonsense on the internet.